Friday, May 23, 2008

happy two


two years in new york city.

we really didn't think we would be here this long when we first moved here. (i know to some of you two seems like nothing)

but i couldn't be happier.
this city is such a different place to me today than it was two years ago. it's home, for now. (i still have a hard time not adding that "for now")

i was thinking back on our move into this great land of opportunity.

i came up about three days before kristian to scout out an abode.
little did we know that it is basically impossible to show up and just find an apartment.

meanwhile, kristian and his dad were driving a small u-haul containing all our worldly possessions across the country.

as they drew nearer and nearer, and i had zero options, my fears increased exponentially.

when i would go on apartment visits i had a list of questions that kristian had prepped me on. he didn't know about apartment searching in nyc either so most conversations went something like this:

me: "what will we pay in monthly utilities?"
broker: "you don't have to pay for heat and hot water (huh?), but you'll pay for the rest. i don't really know how much."

me: "um... ok, what's the square footage?" (kristian was trying to get a visual as we discussed options over the phone)
broker: "um... i don't know." (then they would usually proceed to walk across the floor- heal to toe- and give me a rough estimate)

me: "is there a/c?"
broker glances over at holes on window sill where previous tenant's window unit used to be screwed in (we quickly learned central cooling is a luxury here, and luxuries were not in our price range)

me: "and what did you say your broker's fee is?"
broker: "15% of a year's rent."

me: "so you mean i'm going to pay you like $2000 for all that great help with my previous three questions?" (i didn't really say that but i wanted to)
broker: "i might be able to negotiate... i'll take 12%."


we learned a little too late in the game that there are more questions you need to ask that might not be so obvious to rookies. i finally started to realize what those questions were. i knew it was a bit frivolous, but i just wanted to know...

does this apartment have closets?
are there any windows?
if so, do they have northern or southern exposure? (meaning, will we ever again see the light of day?)
i see there are three large holes in the front door. does this mean i need to supply my own lock?

it felt like a foreign country. it still does usually, but now we love that about it.

so we finally found our first little place. it was about 230 square feet.
yes, that's right. 230.
one small closet.
no a/c.
no windows with natural light (except one angled window that we later discovered had a strong ray of light shine through everyday for about 10 minutes at 1:30pm).

but it was our little "love nest" as my dad called it, and it was great.
we were so blessed to find it, and in the perfect timing too. and even though we had to leave our leather couch down on the curb because it wouldn't fit through our front door, we had much more than most people in this world and there was absolutely nothing to complain about.

in a very real sense we were/are living like royalty compared to millions of others.

we have learned so much living here, and God has been so gracious and compassionate. he truly does give good gifts (matthew 7:11)

the friends and relationships he has provided through our church are precious and invaluable.

we have learned about the body of Christ and what is means to experience him through his church, and through the poor and needy.

we don't know how much longer we will call nyc home- maybe a year, maybe forever- but for now we are very thankful to be here.